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The Season of Giving: Helping those in need have happier holidays

The Season of Giving: Helping those in need have happier holidays, November/December 2017 Cape Cod LIFE |

The Falmouth Police Department helps collect toys for the Falmouth Service Center in time for Christmas.

Families often have to be convinced to sign their children up with the Red Stocking Fund, because “they are very proud,” Wallo says. “For the most part they are working people,” who just don’t make enough money to indulge at Christmastime. “The cost of living is so high here.”

The Family Pantry of Cape Cod, located in Harwich, sees the same thing. “Sixty-three percent of our clients have one if not two working members in the household,” says Family Pantry Director Christine Menard. “They’re working, but they can’t make enough money. We help bridge that gap.”

By providing groceries twice a month, the Family Pantry allows clients to pay for other necessities. “They can shift money to rent, clothing, utilities,” she says.

In addition to providing food year-round, the Family Pantry gives out around 500 turkeys with all the fixings over Thanksgiving, and distributes Christmas toys and gift cards to about 1,000 children.

The Family Pantry served over 9,200 clients in 2016 and this year is seeing an 18 percent increase in client visits to the pantry, Menard says.

On the Upper Cape, the Falmouth Service Center helps low-income residents of Falmouth, Mashpee and Otis Air National Guard Base. Deputy Director Kerin Delaney says the community is “incredibly supportive” of the center’s work, especially during the holidays. The nonprofit organization’s turkey drop-off day the Sunday before Thanksgiving is a great example of community generosity: “They just keep coming and coming, and some people drop off four or six turkeys,” she says.

People also donate fresh vegetables and other items for the Thanksgiving dinner baskets that the Falmouth Service Center distributes to more than 700 Falmouth residents. (The center limits its Thanksgiving distribution to Falmouth clients because it is such a huge undertaking.)

To help needy families have a merrier Christmas, Falmouth Service Center runs a toy drive, and the community gets involved with that as well. “People drop off brand-new toys, schools host toy drives, the police department and fire department hold drives,” Delaney says. “We’re very, very lucky we live in such a generous community.”

The Season of Giving: Helping those in need have happier holidays, November/December 2017 Cape Cod LIFE |

Lower Cape Outreach Council, Inc.

19 Brewster Cross Road, Orleans, MA 02653

508-240-0694 • •

The Red Stocking Fund

P.O. Box 600, Edgartown, MA 02539 • 508-776-6050

The Family Pantry of Cape Cod

133 Queen Anne Road, Harwich, MA 02645

508-432-6519 •

Falmouth Service Center

611 Gifford Street, Falmouth, MA 02541

508-548-2794 • •

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